Death in the Afternoon

Watercolor Sketch of Vintage Fishing Equipment

Watercolor Sketch of Vintage Fishing Equipment

He would have liked to set down in words, as Goya did in paint, all that he had “seen, felt, touched, handled, smelled, enjoyed, drunk, mounted, suffered, spewed-up, lain-with, suspected, observed, loved, hated, lusted, feared, detested, admired, loathed, and destroyed.”  But he knew that “any part you make will represent the whole if it’s made truly.”  And he knew, finally, that all books must end somewhere.

Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story, by Carlos Baker

These are the notes concerning Hemingway’s completion of his nonfiction book on Spanish bullfighting, Death in the Afternoon, published in 1932.  I republish them today, tongue in cheek, because I know I could not possibly put into words all that I experienced this afternoon, my first long stretch in the Man Cave since my illness a couple of weeks ago.  Daily school tasks have managed to suck every ounce of vitality out of me, leaving nothing for the creative process in the afternoons or evenings, until today.

I won’t bother talking about the school day.  My life began when I got home this afternoon, and re-entered the Cave after a late lunch.  For over a week, I have had this notion of launching a pile of 8 x 10″ watercolors.  I just couldn’t seem to break loose to get into the studio.  Currently I am poring over this fabulous assortment of vintage fishing lures (many of them wooden), vintage fishing reels and trout flies that have been lent by dear friends.  The close scrutiny of these objects is taking a toll on my eyes, but I am nevertheless enjoying the process.  I am posting a picture of three compositions I have in progress now.  I’ll be matting them in 11 x 14″ mattes with plastic sleeves as soon as I finish them.  I have a large festival coming up in a little over two weeks (Art on the Greene in Arlington, Texas).  In the past, I have sold many prints and greeting cards of reproductions of my work.  This time I hope to set out for sale a large quantity of small original watercolors, all of them about 8 x 10 image size.  We’ll see how many get made between now and then.

Ernest Hemingway is getting under my skin once again.  I am over two hundred pages into the biography I have been reading since the Christmas holidays.  I now am reading for the first time A Farewell to Arms.  Still I am seeking some kind of way to express my notion of watercoloring with the same “Imagist” technique expounded by the likes of Hemingway, Williams and Pound.  They write of approaching their subject directly with words, cutting out all the fluff, getting to the heart of the image.  I am trying that now with watercolor, painting faster, using fewer strokes, fewer colors, fewer embellishments, trying to draw better, to render more accurately.  It is a trial, but one that I welcome.

Thanks for reading.  I hope to be posting blogs daily now that I have a better handle on things around me.

Three Watercolor Sketches in the Man Cave

Three Watercolor Sketches in the Man Cave


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6 Responses to “Death in the Afternoon”

  1. Xraypics Says:

    Great to see you back. More power to your arm. Tony


  2. Playamart - Zeebra Designs Says:

    the watercolors are lovely! i loved painting old lures as well, though i rarely see them now that i live a different life here in ecuador.

    glad you’re better and feeling like painting again.


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you. It’s great to be doing it again. I’m so grateful to have these old lures in my possession for the time being (I will have to return them soon!). They really take me back.


  3. BJR Says:

    I’m so happy that you’re feeling better! (That “illness” takes a lot out of a person and it takes a lot of time to get half-way back to normal. The energy just isn’t there!!) I LOVE these reels…especially that green!! Hope they sell well. Do you ever ship prints to other places?? Let me know, ok?? BJR


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you, BJR. Yeah, this crud certainly hangs on and takes everything out of us. Glad to be over it at last. Thank you for your comments about my recent work. This painting is 8 x 10″ and will be in a matt sized 11 x 14″. I’m going to offer it for $75 (I have such a surplus of watercolors right now). I don’t plan to limit the edition, but just sell reproductions of it (5 x 7″ inside an 8 x 10″ matte for $20, or 8 x 10″ inside an 11 x 14″ for $30). Yes I have shipped paintings and prints, and have credit card capability. Thank you for asking.


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